Article: Vercillo, Kathryn. 5 Craft Therapy Books to Learn About Handmade Healing
Bibliography: Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who also has a Masters in Psychological Studies. Her expertise is writing at the intersection of crafts and mental health. Kathryn is the author of several books on this topic including Crochet Saved My Life.
I am creating the 6 inch squares that will be placed in each corner of the sashing and border of the quilt. This means that I am almost, almost ready to start making a sandwich of each quadrant in preparation of machine quilting.
Cutting sashing and border fabric
Stitching the cornerstones or bosses
Stitching the border to quadrants
Stitching part of the sashing to each quadrant
Pressing the backing and top
Making a sandwich
Machine quilting each quadrant
Joining each quadrant to make the finished top
More quilting in border and sashing
In the photo below I am still working on the triangle shapes and trying to decide if they need a border. Of course they did! There was more work and stitching ahead!
The photo shows the drafting process to make six inch square mosaic tiles that will be placed at the intersection of border and sashing.
I wasn’t planning on such a large quilt. I guess this is what happens when you design as you go! It has evolved to be what it needs to be.
The colours of this stitch meditation are rich and luscious! The hand dyed hot pink varying slightly making it just a little bit more interesting than a flat colour. Layers of black knots tying it in with the darker gray cotton. The piece of repurposed silk sari fabric has a shimmer of pink while also tying into the lighter grey. It is tied together with the hand dyed pink perle cotton. I don’t usually sit back and study the piece I’ve stitched to analyze why it works. Having the time and perspective makes you realize that following your instincts can lead you in the right direction.
I am fortunate that a friend gave me a bag of silk and upholstery fabrics that I have been using in some stitch meditations. They are so gorgeous and often times reversible — the colour varying slightly from front to back. These delicate fabrics are precious snippets
There are quite a few articles about the benefits of slowing down your thoughts with traditional meditation. For many people mentioning the word meditation brings about a negative reaction. I’ve heard: I can’t do it, it doesn’t work for me, I’ve tried it but I wasn’t successful and so many more. Meditation was and is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Quietly lying down or sitting comfortably and trying to empty your mind! How is that even possible! No way I can’t do it! Who can! I’ve had only a very few times I think I can say that meditating worked, maybe. That’s why having having something more specific to focus on — like a hand stitching project makes the idea of meditation a little easier to understand. I know that I’ve lost track of time, my discomfort, and those around me (child and husband) when I focused on my sewing. I am in my happy place — making. An article I discovered by Monika Auch a Naturopathic doctor and artist talks about “creating with your hands makes you happy”. She has an inventive project where you stitch your brain!
Stitch your Brain an international embroidery project: “Creating with your hands makes you happy. Embroidery, knitting, weaving, crochet and other craft activities release feelings of well-being in our brains.” Is this what a successful meditation session feels like? You can map what your brain looks like to you. Join the project and embroider your brain on a printed canvas using: yarn, threads, beads, with any types of stitching, anything! Finished pieces are on tour throughout Europe and some are on display on the website. Meditate on your brain – such an interesting project!
Video: Monika Auch 25 April 2017 lecture on – Art Knowledge: our senses in art and scientific experiment (in Dutch)
Website: Stitch Your Brain – is a project and study by Monika Auch, visual artist and medical doctor (n.p.) about the intelligence of our hands and the effect of creative making on health and well-being.
I’ve been preparing the squares for the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project before the actual stitching. I’ve found that this works for me as I can pick up and work on different squares as I feel inspired. I may not complete one before starting another and then finishing the first!
I use far fewer layers in my meditations than others
My squares are simpler
I create in similar colour combinations as you can see below
Preparing for stitch meditations – one square at a time!
Working with little bits of textiles that would normally be discarded is immensely satisfying. A strip of linen/rayon torn off the edge, embroidered with French knots anchoring it to the blue and white fabrics. Random seed stitches in a cotton thread finer than the hand dyed perle cotton. Textures and colours, gauze, velvet, lightness and luxurious depth!
A beautiful indigo dyed silk velvet strip was cut off to straighten the edge of a shawl. So silky and intense in colour, I incorporated it into this stitch meditation.
Article: Susan Ball Faeder: 100 days of amulets. Okan Arts Blog, August 22, 2019
Website: Quilter’s Express to Japan: Textiles & Fibre Art. Website by Susan Ball Faeder
The sunnier and warmer days have brought on a lull to all the busy activity of the spring. Slowing down and taking the time to do nothing has been important. A few pieces have been stitched but not all photographed. It seems to require a lot of effort that can be better enjoyed with family and friends.
Website: The Seasoned Homemaker blog and shop by Leslie Rutland
Pinterest: Inspiration board with ideas from the web by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Blog post: Slow Stitching, No Bitching! by Anne Marie The Beadful Life